Boy, 11, killed by pontoon boat driven by father - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Boy, 11, killed by pontoon boat driven by father

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William Feehan and two other kids were tubing behind the boat when they fell into the water. William Feehan and two other kids were tubing behind the boat when they fell into the water.
Neighbor, James Harvey, says he witnessed the boating accident that claimed William's life. Neighbor, James Harvey, says he witnessed the boating accident that claimed William's life.

(WMC-TV) - An 11-year-old Millington boy is dead after his father reportedly hit him with a boat on an Arkansas lake, according to the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission.

William Feehan and two other kids were tubing behind the boat when they fell into the water. As the boy's father was circling around to pick them up, the child was struck by the propeller.

Neighbor, James Harvey, says he witnessed the boating accident that claimed William's life. Their families were on vacation together. They rented a boat from the Bull Shoals Marina when tragedy struck.

"It's the most traumatic thing that could happen to a family," he said.

Harvey says Williams' 52-year old father, Matthew Feehan, was experiencing difficulty with the steering wheel.

"The steering on the boat was not properly set up," said Harvey. "The wheel when he turned right ... The wheel snapped out of his hands, and it flung us all in the boat."

Harvey says the boat did a quick 180 degree turn.

"And then the next thing we know his son is hurt in the water," said Harvey. "My 15-year-old boy was in the tube with [Matthew's] son and his 14-year-old boy were in the tube. We're just thankful that all three kids didn't get hit."

The trip was a vacation get away for two families looking to enjoy the last few days of summer break with their children. Harvey says William's father is heartbroken.

"He and I talk all the time ... Men want to fix things, and this is just something that cannot be fixed," said Harvey.

Officials say it does not appear that there were any boating violations at the time of the accident and alcohol was not a factor.

The investigation is still underway.

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